Humble Oil

Humble Oil

Overview
Humble Oil and Refining Co. was founded in 1911. The company would later consolidate with Standard Oil of New Jersey to become Exxon
Exxon
Exxon is a chain of gas stations as well as a brand of motor fuel and related products by ExxonMobil. From 1972 to 1999, Exxon was the corporate name of the company previously known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey or Jersey Standard....

.

Exxon U.S.A. traces its roots from the Humble Oil Company, in the town of Humble, Texas
Humble, Texas
Humble is a city in Harris County, Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area.As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,579. The city shares a zip code with the small Houston neighborhood of Bordersville, although people who live in Bordersville still have Humble...

, which was chartered in Texas in February 1911 with a capital of $150,000 (raised to $300,000 in 1912). In order to develop a refinery adjacent to the Goose Creek Oil Field
Goose Creek Oil Field
The Goose Creek Oil Field is a large oil field in Baytown, Texas, on Galveston Bay. Discovered in 1903, and reaching maximum production in 1918 after a series of spectacular gushers, it was one of the fields which contributed to the Texas Oil Boom of the early 20th century...

 at Baytown, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Baytown is a city within Harris County and partially in Chambers County in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. state of Texas. Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, it lies along both State Highway 146 and Interstate 10. As of 2010, Baytown had an population of 71,802...

, on which Humble was the primary operator, the company was reorganized in 1917 and incorporated on June 21 as the Humble Oil and Refining Company with a capitalization of $1 million based on 40,000 shares at $100 par value.
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Encyclopedia
Humble Oil and Refining Co. was founded in 1911. The company would later consolidate with Standard Oil of New Jersey to become Exxon
Exxon
Exxon is a chain of gas stations as well as a brand of motor fuel and related products by ExxonMobil. From 1972 to 1999, Exxon was the corporate name of the company previously known as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey or Jersey Standard....

.

Early history


Exxon U.S.A. traces its roots from the Humble Oil Company, in the town of Humble, Texas
Humble, Texas
Humble is a city in Harris County, Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area.As of the 2000 census, the city population was 14,579. The city shares a zip code with the small Houston neighborhood of Bordersville, although people who live in Bordersville still have Humble...

, which was chartered in Texas in February 1911 with a capital of $150,000 (raised to $300,000 in 1912). In order to develop a refinery adjacent to the Goose Creek Oil Field
Goose Creek Oil Field
The Goose Creek Oil Field is a large oil field in Baytown, Texas, on Galveston Bay. Discovered in 1903, and reaching maximum production in 1918 after a series of spectacular gushers, it was one of the fields which contributed to the Texas Oil Boom of the early 20th century...

 at Baytown, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Baytown is a city within Harris County and partially in Chambers County in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. state of Texas. Located within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area, it lies along both State Highway 146 and Interstate 10. As of 2010, Baytown had an population of 71,802...

, on which Humble was the primary operator, the company was reorganized in 1917 and incorporated on June 21 as the Humble Oil and Refining Company with a capitalization of $1 million based on 40,000 shares at $100 par value. The original company resulted from the collaboration of Ross S. Sterling
Ross S. Sterling
Ross Shaw Sterling was a U.S. political figure who was the 31st Governor of Texas, having served a single two-year term between January 20, 1931, and January 17, 1933....

 and Walter Fondren, Sr.
Walter Fondren, Sr.
Walter William Fondren, Sr. was an American oil operator and philanthropist.Fondren, alongside Ross S. Sterling and others, founded Humble Oil.-External links:*...

 with Robert L. Blaffer, James Cooke Wilson, and William Stamps Farish II
William Stamps Farish II
William Stamps Farish II was a pioneer in East Texas oilfield development, president of Standard Oil and a founding member and president of the American Petroleum Institute...

 and others. In the new organization were merged the Paraffine Oil Company, Blaffer and Farish, Schulz Oil Company, Ardmore Oil Company, and Globe Refining Company.

In February 1919, Humble doubled the number of shares authorized and sold 50 percent of its stock to Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. This initiated Humble's long-term connection with the company that eventually absorbed it as Exxon Company, U.S.A. Standard Oil of New Jersey was identified as the particular target of antitrust enforcers in Texas in the early decades of the twentieth century, and the corporation found it much easier to do business in the state through Humble, its partially owned but autonomously directed affiliate. In 1948 Humble had issued a total of eighteen million shares with a total capitalization of $475 million; Standard Oil Company of New Jersey owned 72 percent of the stock.

In 1917 Humble had 217 wells and a daily crude oil production of about 9,000 barrels. The company's production was expanded steadily. It made large additions to its reserves in the 1930s and increased production during World War II in order to meet war needs. Humble became the largest domestic producer of crude oil during the war and continued in that position into the 1950s. In 1949 the company had a net production of 275900 barrels (43,864.6 m³) daily of crude oil and 15900 barrels (2,527.9 m³) daily of natural-gas liquids. At the end of 1949 the company was operating 9,928 wells.

Consolidation with Standard Oil of New Jersey


In the 1950s Standard Oil of New Jersey began to reconsider its relationship with Humble Oil. In spite of the fact that Standard owned almost 88 percent of Humble's stock in 1954, Humble continued to maintain its autonomy for the rest of the decade. In 1958 Standard increased its holdings to some 98 percent of Humble's stock, and the following year Humble and Standard Oil of New Jersey consolidated domestic operations. In September 1959 Humble received a new charter from the state of Delaware. By the end of the year Esso Standard and the Carter Oil Company, other affiliates of Standard of New Jersey, were incorporated into Humble, and in 1960 they were joined by other affiliates including Enjay Chemical, Pate Oil, Globe Fuel Products, and Oklahoma Oil. The restructuring allowed the new Humble company to reduce duplication and costs and to coordinate all of its domestic activities more effectively. The Humble workforce dropped by a quarter in the first five years after the merger, while its profits doubled.

National expansion, introduction of Enco brand


Humble's restructuring allowed both companies to sell and market gasoline nationwide under the Esso
Esso
Esso is an international trade name for ExxonMobil and its related companies. Pronounced , it is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil, and as such became the focus of much litigation and regulatory restriction in the United States. In 1972, it was largely replaced in the U.S. by...

, Enco
Enco (oil company)
Enco was a secondary retail brand name for products of Humble Oil, in certain parts of the United States from 1960 to 1973...

 and Humble brands. The Enco brand was introduced by Humble in the summer of 1960 at stations in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 but was soon blackballed after Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio) protested that Enco (Humble's acronym for "ENergy COmpany") sounded and looked too much like Esso as it shared the same oval logo with blue border and red letters with the two middle letters the only difference. At that point, the stations in Ohio would be rebranded Humble (but the gasoline, motor oil and lubricant products kept the name Enco) until the name change to Exxon in 1972.

Though the Enco brand was discontinued in Ohio, it was rolled out in other non-Esso states, including service stations in the Midwestern U.S. operated by Jersey affiliate Pate Oil and in the Pacific northwest by affiliate Carter Oil. The Humble brand was used at Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 stations for decades as those operations were under the direction of Jersey Standard affiliate, Humble Oil, and in the mid-to-late 1950s Humble expanded to other Southwestern states including New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, and Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

. In the spring of 1961, Humble stations in Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona were rebranded as Enco and the Enco brand appeared on gasoline and lubricant products at Humble stations in Texas that same year although service stations in the Lone Star State weren't changed to Enco in 1962. During that time, Humble would also expand the Enco brand to new marketing areas it entered for the first time including the West Coast.

In 1963, Humble was approached by Tidewater Oil Company, a major gasoline marketer along the eastern and western seaboards, to purchase Tidewater's refining and marketing operations on the west coast, a move that would have given Humble a large number of existing stations and a refinery in California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, which was then the fastest-growing gasoline market. However, the U.S. Justice Department objected to Humble's plan and Tidewater's west coast operations were sold to Phillips Petroleum
Phillips Petroleum
Phillips Petroleum Company was founded in 1917 by L.E. Phillips and Frank Phillips, of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Their younger brother Waite Phillips was the benefactor of Philmont Scout Ranch....

 in 1966. Meanwhile, Humble gradually built up new and rebranded service stations in California and other western states under the Enco brand and purchased a large number of stations from Signal Oil Company in 1967, followed by the opening of a new refinery in Benicia, California
Benicia, California
Benicia is a waterside city in Solano County, California, United States. It was the first city in California to be founded by Anglo-Americans, and served as the state capital for nearly thirteen months from 1853 to 1854. The population was 26,997 at the 2010 census. The city is located in the San...

 in 1969.

In 1966, the Justice Department ordered Humble to "cease and desist" from using the Esso brand at stations in several Southeastern states following protests from Standard Oil of Kentucky
Standard Oil of Kentucky
The Standard Oil Company of Kentucky or Kyso was an oil company and gasoline distributor that operated in the southeastern United States from 1886 until it was acquired by Chevron Oil Company in 1960...

 (a Standard Oil of California subsidiary by that time and in the process of rebranding the Kyso stations as Chevron). By 1967, stations in each of those states were rebranded as Enco.

In the 1960s Humble had more than 21000 square miles (54,389.8 km²) of land under lease in the United States. The company operated 24,000 producing wells in twenty-one states with a daily production of 600000 barrels (95,392.4 m³) of crude oil. Humble-operated wells also produced 2.6 Gcuft of natural gas daily. Six Humble refineries and plants processed about 800000 barrels (127,189.8 m³) of crude oil daily and produced from that volume a great variety of products.

Discontinuation of the Humble, Enco brands in favor of Exxon


Despite the success of the "Put A Tiger In Your Tank" advertising campaign introduced by Humble in 1959 to promote its Enco/Esso Extra gasolines, the similar oval logotypes, the Happy Motoring! tagline used in advertisements that also appeared overhead of service bays at each station, use of the Humble name in all Esso/Enco ads and the uniformity in design and products of Humble stations nationwide, the company still had difficulties promoting itself as a nationwide gasoline marketer competing against truly national brands such as Texaco
Texaco
Texaco is the name of an American oil retail brand. Its flagship product is its fuel "Texaco with Techron". It also owns the Havoline motor oil brand....

— then a 50-state marketer and the only company selling products under one brand name in each state. Humble officials realized by the late 1960s the time had come to swallow its pride by developing a new brand name that could be used nationwide throughout the U.S. At first, consideration was given to simply rebranding all stations as "Enco" but that was shelved when it was learned that "Enco" is a Japanese abbreviation of

In order to create a unified brand, the company rebranded all its U.S. service stations along with its gasoline and other petroleum products from Esso and Enco (Humble in Ohio) to Exxon nationwide during the summer and fall of 1972 following the successful test marketing of the Exxon brand and logo in late 1971 and early 1972 at rebranded Enco/Esso stations in certain U.S. cities. The name change, one of the most expensive in the history of the U.S. oil industry, not only involved advertisements and identifying street signs at service stations, but also gasoline pumps, product packaging, tankers, transport and delivery trucks, hundreds of smaller signs at more than 25,000 service stations, and millions of credit cards sent to account holders to replace their previous Esso/Enco cards.

The corporate name change from Standard Oil of New Jersey to Exxon Corporation took effect January 1, 1973 along with the name change of domestic refining/marketing division Humble Oil and Refining Co. to Exxon USA, and the mergers of Esso Chemicals and Enjay Chemicals into Exxon Chemicals.

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